United stifles Spurs

Manchester, England ( - Manchester United turned in one of its best performances of the season on Sunday as the club notched a 3-0 win over Tottenham at Old Trafford.

Louis van Gaal's men have failed to hit top gear very often this season, but the team took firm control of the match with goals from Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick in the opening 20 minutes.

Wayne Rooney then made the most of a mistake by the Tottenham defense to make it 3-0 in the 34th, and United coasted home with little trouble from there, moving the side five points clear of fifth-place Liverpool, which travels to Swansea City on Monday.

United came out with purpose and Carrick cut the Tottenham defense open with a through ball into the area on the left that Fellaini tracked down and drove past goalkeeper Hugo Lloris with a first-time shot.

Both players had a hand in United's second goal as well when Fellaini's headed effort from a corner kick was blocked. The ball was only cleared as far as Carrick inside the area, and he nodded a well-placed effort inside the right post from 10 yards.

Tottenham was clearly far from its best, and things got worse in the 34th when a giveaway in the defensive third allowed Rooney to carry the ball past two defenders before beating Lloris with a low shot inside the left post.

Spurs offered little going forward, making it an easy evening for United goalkeeper David De Gea, whose only real action in the match came in the final minutes on a close-range shot from Harry Kane.

Chelsea moved six points clear of second-place Manchester City after a 1-1 draw at home against Southampton.

Diego Costa scored after 11 minutes to put the Blues in front, but Southampton equalized from the penalty spot in the 19th courtesy of Dusan Tadic.

Sunday's other match saw Everton secure a much-needed 3-0 win against Newcastle with goals from James McCarthy and Romelu Lukaku before a late third goal through Ross Barkley.